Note: This post ignores all the questions about what the body of Christ is. This applies whether you’re including everyone who claims to be Christian and all churches that claim to be churches or not.
Further note: While most of the details of this post are still accurate, I actually have Blastic Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cell Neoplasm (that link’s to my explanation of the disease), a particularly rare and aggressive lymphoma.
I’ve got a larger army of immune cells than you do. In fact, I probably have almost double the amount of those microscopic disease-destroying cells than you do.
And my cells are bigger than your cells.
What an army!
They’re killing me.
Those large cells are useless against the viruses they’re supposed to be fighting. They look impressive, so large and out in such intimidating numbers. But they have a couple of big problems.
They’re from the wrong source. My lymphocytes, the virus-fighting cells of the immune system, are all clones of one another. They did not come from the proper source, being made anew by my bone marrow. They have gotten their DNA–their programming and their growth–from one rogue cell, and they just march on … unchanged and unchanging.
They’re useless against the real enemies. Because they’re abnormal, they can’t recognize or kill viruses. They just tour my blood stream, looking impressive.
They’re crowding out everything else. These cells don’t like other cells being around. Neutrophils are smaller cells that fight bacteria. My blood has antibodies to destroy neutrophils. Apparently, only viruses are the real enemy now, and my white blood cell army only pretends to fight those.
Platelets are blood cells that thicken blood and join together to stop bleeding. My blood has antibodies that kill platelets. But what’s probably worst of all, that army of massive, mutant lymphocytes is crowding out the only cells that can really give life: the red blood cells. I have only 70% as many as I had 9 months ago when I was healthy.
The Body of Christ
This post isn’t about me. My problems are sent from God to open doors for ministry and to help me live by the only real life there is, that spiritual life from God which is fed to us by the blood of Jesus Christ.
But there are so many accurate analogies between my body and the body of Christ that it’s not funny. In fact, it’s scary.
Currently, the body of Christ has lots of people running around defending it. They’re large, and they are numerous. Their targets include works in any form as part of the Gospel, anything that doesn’t come from the Bible (and, in fact, anything which doesn’t come from their interpretation of the Bible), evolution and anything else they don’t agree with from science (like the earth going around the sun?), and homosexual marriage among non-Christians.
Their power is to defend a system that provides weekly speeches by professionals, a mix of professional and amateur musicians to lead singing, and a school with a few teaching positions for particularly gifted laymen. By and large, though, it’s a very small percentage of Christians that have an active role, or even an opportunity for an active role, in the system we have today.
So why does a system that is so clearly unscriptural and ineffective survive and thrive from year to year, decade to decade, and generation to generation?
Because the multitude of giant but mutant defenders of the faith are too busy opposing the works that Paul said Christians must maintain (Tit. 3:8), that Jesus died for (Tit. 2:13-14), and that James said are required for salvation (Jam. 2:14-26) to take on the real enemies of the faith.
In the meantime, the voices of true defenders of the faith are drowned out by the multitude of shouts of the cloned mutant giants. With warnings and threats, they have raised up an army of passive, ignorant, and superstitious Christians functioning as antibodies to drive out all other disease-fighting parts of the body of Christ.
The ability to fight invaders, the ability to stop the bleeding, the recognition of the real enemies, and, above all, the flow of life from the real blood of Christ are stifled.
We’re killing ourselves, led by the multitude of cloned mutant giants.
A Brief Addition on the Blood of Christ
The real blood of Christ is life-giving!
Let me tell you about the incredible difference between having life-giving red blood cells coursing through your veins and having those same cells crowded out by mutant, giant, cloned, and ineffective white blood cells, possessing no life in themselves.
In 2006, I ran a 31-mile course on a small mountain near Huntsville, AL. One of the loops, which we ran (well, mostly walked; it was littered with big rocks covered by leaves) 3 times, had a steep hill at the end of it. I ran up it the first time, but by the 3rd time around, I was happy to walk the quarter-mile or so, breathing hard at the top, loving the feel of the mountain air, and feeling alive with the trees around me.
When I got home my legs were so sore that I stopped in front of the porch to plan how to get up the two steps so I could go in the house.
But I was charged with energy; thrilled with my success; delighted with life.
I’m living in an RV right now, and without running any miles, some days I breathe hard after I climb its two steps to get inside. My legs aren’t sore, so I don’t have to plan how to climb those steps. My energy wanes regularly, and I’m thrilled with life only because I choose to be.
Friends, that’s what traditional Christianity is doing to you!!!
Can you understand that’s why John says that if you don’t keep Christ’s commands, you don’t know God?! (1 Jn. 2:3-4).
John was angry at "those who are trying to seduce you" (1 Jn. 2:27) because they were robbing the people of God of life. They were teaching the people of God to fight the wrong things.
Seeing the Problem
You can’t see my disease. If you walked in my office to see me doing barbell rows (yeah, I keep a barbell in my office) or to see me on the floor doing twists to keep my back from going out, you would think I was a normal, healthy individual.
Well, okay, you probably wouldn’t think I was normal.
It’s not until you ask me to function that you’d see something was wrong. I wouldn’t be able to keep up with you in a soccer game. If we work on a carpentry project all morning, it wouldn’t take long for you to notice that I’m resting a lot and that I don’t look right.
It’s starting to show in other ways, too. I’m growing my third plum-covered bump on my torso as of yesterday. That’s the product of my body attacking itself, my immune system doing damage to perfectly good tissue.
Are you catching the analogy?
Have you seen the plum-colored bumps on the body of Christ? Have you seen those clusters of damaged people, beat up and rejected by an immune system run wild and led by the cloned mutant giants?
The mutant giants want you to pay attention to all the good flesh. The parts of the body they have not yet damaged.
That’s as stupid as my pointing out that I can still walk many miles as long as I don’t get too fast while ignoring the massive drop in energy and endurance I’ve experienced. That’s as stupid as my ignoring an inch-and-a-half wide raised purple bump on my back and the two that have come after it. (I have to be honest and admit I ignored the bumps for weeks until the drop in energy became obvious and a friend ordered me to go to the doctor.)
Leukemia’s an excellent picture of what’s happening to the body of Christ.
Correcting the Problem
Thank you to the West Clinic in Corinth, MS and to the men and women who have devoted their lives to healing people like me.
But who’s devoted their life to healing the body of Christ? And are they gathered together in one clinic, reviewing each other’s work, and helping each other to work toward one common goal? Do they know what that goal is?
The people who are fighting Leukemia are studying. They’re researching. They’re learning all the time. They’re looking at the problem and discussing it.
But before they ever began, they made sure they knew how a healthy body is supposed to work, at least as well as humanly possible. They went to college, and they got in a degree in some medical field.
But Christians can’t just go to college. Too many Bible colleges have studied the modern body, riddled with diseases. They don’t know what a healthy body is like.
Am I being judgmental?
I don’t think so. I think it’s bizarre that we would read that the early Christians devoted themselves every day to the apostles teaching, to the breaking of bread and to fellowship, and that we would ignore the fact that we don’t even encourage daily fellowship.
I think it’s bizarre that the book of Acts would say that the early Christians had all things in common, and that we would claim that was only in Jerusalem without doing any research to see if that’s so.
I think it’s bizarre that the earliest church manual in existence says we ought to seek out the faces of the saints every day and be prepared to share everything with them, and we would act like tithing (Of all the laws that we could drag into the church from the Old Testament, why that one?) at a weekly speech to support a professional staff and a building is the same thing. Good grief, that’s morally reprehensible.
I think it’s bizarre that Justin in the mid-2nd century could talk about living familiarly with one another and Tertullian in the early-3rd century could talk about sharing everything except our wives, and that we would ignore what was obviously the normal Christian life of the 1st and 2nd centuries.
We’re diseased, friends!
No wonder we marvel at John’s statement that those who are born of God do not sin. We rightly point out that the Greek of that verse means something to the effect of “continually sin,” but that doesn’t change the fact that, really, we don’t understand the grace that takes away sin’s power any more than I can understand the endurance that would have allowed me to run the 10K I was scheduled to run with my secretary.
Help! Is there a doctor in the house?